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Sahara Group’s Innovation Hackathon Winners Emerge

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Lagos, Nigeria– The curtains have been drawn on the maiden edition of the Sahara Innovation Week, an initiative birthed with a vision to foster knowledge sharing and inventions that boost Sahara’s value proposition globally, with Sahara’s first Innovation Hackathon producing winners across the Group.

The Hackathon which focused on service excellence around operational efficiency, customer experience and data optimisation & monetisation, attracted various submissions from different teams across the Group, and after rigorous assessment by various judges, Team GIS from Ikeja Electric Plc emerged as overall winners.

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Speaking at the award ceremony, Executive Director, Kola Adesina stated that “to reach greater heights, and to stay relevant, we must embrace innovation,” reiterating that Management would support innovative ideas and transform them for optimized implementation. Adesina disclosed that Management would transform the overall winning idea into a business enterprise in which the innovators will have shares.

Team GIS; Winners of the 2019 Sahara Innovation Hackathon

The winners include Ayodele Alonge and Opeyemi Adaramola of Team BRAVO from Centrum Properties Limited, Ernest Efenador of Team OXYGEN from Egbin Power Plc, Chiedozie Ilechie, Chukwuemeka Azodo and Terkuma Ivande of Team REMACS from First Independent Power Limited, and Mobolaji Fayomade, Emmanuel Oyerinde and Chijioke Emeruwa of Team GIS from Ikeja Electric Plc.

The top four winning teams went home with $5,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Emphasizing the importance of technology and innovation to the future of Sahara Group, Executive Director, Temitope Shonubi said: “We see technology as that system that makes things better, easier, improves customer efficiency and operational effectiveness. This will drive what we do much more in the coming years at Sahara”.

Ayodele Alonge, one of the winners, from Centrum Properties Limited, the real estate arm of the Group, described the Hackathon as a challenging and rewarding exercise. “This award has changed my life. In fact, I’ll be adding this achievement to my LinkedIn profile ‘Sahara Innovation Week winner, 2019’,”she stated.

Other activities including Innovation Trivia, where winners went home with virtual reality gift items, Innovation showcase and knowledge sharing sessions, provided useful insight into the innovation path to Sahara’s future.

Sahara Group

Corporate Citizenship

Coronavirus: Dangote donate N200m to curb the spread in Nigeria

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The Aliko Dangote Foundation has earmarked N124million that will support facilities to help prevent, assess and respond to health events at Point of Entry to ensure National Health Security

LAGOS, Nigeria, Marc– The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) yesterday pledged a whooping sum of N200million to support current effort of the Nigerian government towards curbing the spread of Corona Virus or Covid-19 in the country.

ADF’s intervention is considered the largest single donation by a corporate organization in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus since Nigeria recorded its first index case last month in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Aliko Dangote Foundation Ms. Zouera Youssoufou, represented by the Health and Nutrition Programme Officer Maryam Shehu-Buhari, at a donor coordinating meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 said the donation was part of the Foundation’s cardinal objective of partnering with governments at all levels against the dreaded disease in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

The Foundation is also the only Nigerian donor that attended the meeting and made monetary pledge.

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To this extent, she said the Aliko Dangote Foundation has earmarked N124million that will support facilities to help prevent, assess and respond to health events at Point of Entry to ensure National Health Security.

Ms Youssoufou also highlighted other areas of intervention to include surveillance and epidemiology, where facilities worth N36million will be provided by the Foundation to support government’s effort.

According to her the ADF will also donate N48million for case management training of health workers.

Speaking at the meeting facilitated by World Bank, the Country Director represented by the Operations Manager Ms. Kathleen Whimp identified four thematic areas to tackling the spread of COVID 19. These are: Regular communication with the public, contact tracing, training of volunteers and international co-operations.

Speaking also, the Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. John Oladejo said some of the challenges, going forwarded include lack of enough isolation centres, contact tracing, training of volunteers, international cooperation, fake news and panic, among others.

Mr. Noel Chisaka of the Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement Project commended the Aliko Dangote Foundation for the contribution and encouraged others to join in the fight against Covid-19.

Other donors invited to the meeting include: WHO, UNICEF, BMGF, RTSL, EU, USAID, US CDC, DFID, Public Health England, GIZ, JICA, Africa CDC, WAHO, PHI, MTN, Red Cross, IFRC and AFENET. 

According to reports there are a total of 90,936 confirmed cases worldwide – although more than half of those (47,995) have already recovered. The biggest numbers are still by far in mainland China (80,151), followed by South Korea (4,812), Italy (2,036) and Iran (1,501). Japan has 274 confirmed cases, France 191, Germany 165, Spain 120, Singapore 108, US 106, and Hong Kong 100. There are also cases in South America, Africa and Australia.

The total death toll stands at 3,117 with 2,936 of those coming from China. The countries with the next highest numbers are Iran (66), Italy (52) and South Korea (29).There have also been deaths in Japan, the US, France, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

It would be recalled that the Aliko Dangote foundation also committed N1billion in the fight against the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Africa, helping to build resilience and strengthen Nigeria’s health system in a manner expected to endure beyond the Ebola crisis period.

The foundation’s support during the Ebola crisis ensured the establishment of the National Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EEOC) in Yaba, Lagos; provision of 12 units of thermal cameras across Nigeria’s International Airports with training for 160 staff/personnel of the Federal Ministry of Health, Port Health Services Department, on the use of the thermal cameras; provision of W.H.O-certified Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs and comprehensive logistics support for the returnee volunteers on Ebola intervention across countries ravaged by Ebola. 

President Muhammadu Buhari had then commended Mr. Aliko Dangote for what he described as “remarkable sacrifices in eradicating Ebola virus disease and polio in Nigeria.”

Dangote Group

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Corporate Citizenship

Dolphin Senior High School Wins Sahara Group’s Chess Competition

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Lagos, Nigeria– Dolphin Senior High School in Lagos has emerged winners of Sahara Group’s #CleanLoveFeb Chess Competition which was organized as part of the energy conglomerate’s ongoing campaign against substance abuse, especially among young people.

The competition featured two players each from four government owned schools including Dolphin Senior High School, Boys’ Senior Academy, Girls’ Senior Academy and Ebute Elefun Senior High School, all located within Lagos Island.

The chess tourney, according to Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group, was designed to serve as a platform to inspire young people to look to sports, books and educative web portals for recreation and academic excellence. “Chess is a game that stimulates mental alertness and critical thinking. We chose public secondary schools to encourage the students to  aspire to challenging for laurels in a game that is considered elitist. The competition also served the purpose of creating awareness on the dangers of substance abuse and inspiring these young future leaders to channel their energies into activities that will help them realise their dreams,” he said.

At the preliminary stage which held on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, the four schools competed intensely and played skillfully for over four hours before Dolphin Senior High School and Boys’ Senior Academy made it to the finals.

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The finals featured four students from the two schools. Odusanya Isaac of Dolphin Senior High School competed against Olabode Quadri of Boys Senior Academy, while Lediju Abul-Lateef of Dolphin Senior High School played against Amoo Mubarak of Boys’ Senior Academy.

At the end of the competition, both contestants from Dolphin Senior High School outplayed their opponents to emerge as the overall winners of Sahara Group’s #CleanLoveFeb chess competition. Lejidu Abdul-Lateef went on to checkmate his way to claim the coveted Best Player of the Tournament Award.

The elated Abdul-Lateef said: “This is a very happy moment for me, and I am proud of what I have achieved. I also learned a lot from the session we had about substance abuse when Sahara Group brought a Psychiatrist, Dr. Tunde Fadipe to tell us more about saying no to substance abuse in any form. I hope to keep learning and playing the game and possibly end up as a grand master someday.”

Finalists from both schools photographed with Bethel Obioma (middle) Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group

All finalists were rewarded with prizes including books, Sahara corporate souvenirs and chess sets to the schools to encourage the cultivation of the chess-playing culture.

The competition which was implemented through Sahara’s Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle, Sahara Foundation, enlisted the support of the INVENT Programme, a mentoring platform for in- school youth.

The Sahara #CleanLoveCampaign which also includes other activities across the energy giant’s locations in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East continues for the rest of the month of February.

Sahara Group

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Corporate Citizenship

Christmas: Sahara Group Promotes Clean Shopping

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Lagos, December 2019- Gifts, concerts, traveling, time with family and friends, a break from work/school and mouth watering delicacies are usually what people look forward to at Christmas.

One activity people can’t seem to avoid this period is shopping. Whether it’s for new clothes or gifts for loved ones, Christmas shopping can be both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time, not only for us, but for the environment as well.

In line with its commitment to spearheading climate protection across the globe, Sahara Group is using this exciting period to encourage everyone to shop smarter and cleaner, not only during this season, but to make it a lifestyle.

Before making any buying decisions, ask these two important questions:

1. Is it necessary?
Temptations abound during the holiday season and they come in all forms, from alluring adverts to eye-popping shopping deals. If you don’t slow down to ask yourself if you really need an item before purchasing, you could end up hurting your wallet and the environment.

To avoid this, take stock of what you already have and more importantly what you haven’t used in the last year especially with things like clothes, shoes and toys for example. It is best to plan to give out items that can be re-used and make a mental note of the things you don’t need to avoid unnecessary consumption and expenditure.

Next, have a holiday spending action plan/budget consisting of the following steps:

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i. Decide on how much you can safely spend in total.
ii. Make a list of the different items you intend to purchase and put them into categories like groceries, clothing, gifts for family and friends, etc. Make sure your list is prioritized.
iii. Decide on how much you intend to spend on each category based on your total budget.
iv. Divide the amount in (iii) by the total number of items for each category.
v. Accept this amount as the maximum you can spend on each item.

Now, take this plan with you wherever you go to help you stay on track of your holiday spending. There are lots of free spending apps that can be downloaded to help you stay on top of your expenditure on the go. Try as much as possible to stay within your budget and you’ll find yourself making smarter and easier shopping decisions.

2. Is it kind to the environment?
Christmas is a season of excesses – excess buying, eating, decorating, and even partying. Just as everything else is in excess during the holiday season, so is waste. From the excessive plastic shopping bags associated with increased shopping during this period, the duplicitous gifts, to the copious gift packaging and wraps, the environment surely feels the impact of the season. While these activities can’t completely be avoided, we can make them more sustainable by reducing plastic waste.

Jute bags are an excellent alternative to plastic bags. Unlike plastic, jute is biodegradable and does not pollute the environment. It is firm and durable, and can be washed and reused as many times as possible.

The Green-Life Initiative, which was launched by Sahara Group with one of its objectives being to promote sustainable living and reduce the harmful impact of human activities on the environment and to help combat climate change, has introduced recyclable jute bags as one of its ‘weapons’ in this fight as a means to educate and raise awareness on the simple “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” mantra.

By simply switching from plastic to recyclable jute bags when shopping this season, you are creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment by reducing the Green House Gases (GHG) emissions and contributing your quota towards combating climate change.

Christmas is a season of giving, so now is the perfect time to give back to the earth by reducing plastic waste by taking on biodegradable alternatives like jute bags.

It is very possible to have a memorable Christmas without breaking the bank and depleting the environment. Follow the tips above and let it be your special little gift to yourself and our planet!

Have a joyous Green Christmas!

Sahara Group

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